Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, the first installment of Mike Myers’ British spy satires, turns 20 on May 2. In honor of the occasion, Hollywood Reporter took an in-depth look at the making of the film and discovered just what was up with all the perfectly positioned props in that famous nude scene featuring Myers and Elizabeth Hurley.
A couple of pineapples blocking Hurley’s melons, a hand-held computer obstructing the camera from a dead center glimpse at Myers’ junk, the phallic symbolism. It all just seemed like brilliant comedy writing.
But, according to director Jay Roach, it was more like a clever way of dealing with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and dodging a fateful “R” rating.
“We got an R-rating. We had to negotiate and cut,” Roach explained. “The nudity blocking was something the MPAA wanted to be sure we didn’t go too far with: the cheeky phallic references, like Elizabeth biting the sausage and holding the melons up. But they were all pretty innocent body-shape jokes. The only thing they asked us to do in the final cut, which was kind of surprising to me, was they thought there was too much butt-cheek on Mike when he got thawed out, so I went for a slightly more profile version.”
How’s that for a little bit of movie trivia?